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(2019) Dance and the quality of life, Dordrecht, Springer.

Beauty in disability

an aesthetics for dance and for life

Aili Bresnahan , Michael Deckard

pp. 185-203

To what extent does dance contribute to an ideal of beauty that can enrich human quality of life? To what extent are standards of beauty predicated on an ideal human body that has no disability? In this chapter, we show how conceptions of proportionality, perfection, and ethereality from the Ancient Greeks through the nineteenth century can still be seen today in some kinds of dance, particularly in ballet. Disability studies and disability-inclusive dance companies, however, have started to change this. The disabled person can be beautiful, we will show, in dance and in life, under a disability aesthetics that follows Edmund Burke (1729–1797) and that suggests an alternative standard of beauty, which we call "beauty-in-experience," where beauty is perceived in the qualitative experience of abled and disabled dancers moving together in dance.

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Full citation:

Bresnahan, A. , Deckard, M. (2019)., Beauty in disability: an aesthetics for dance and for life, in K. Bond (ed.), Dance and the quality of life, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 185-203.

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